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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a grateful mama

I'm sure you've noticed that this month Facebook has become a place of giving thanks.
I've so enjoyed reading people's posts of what they are thankful for.

So I'm joining in on the sappiness today. Here are some everyday things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. I could have listed big things like the fact that I was able to be pregnant two times after doctors said I possibly would not be able to get pregnant to begin with, or that my children are healthy developing babies. But we all know those ones.

My list is different today. Here are my 30 days of thanks all in one list, including regular, average, normal, everyday things this mama is thankful for.

What would you add to the list?!

1. Family pictures that make you laugh and remember how insane that moment was. This picture above was taken when my daughter was 10 days old. We had taken a picture like this when my son was 10 days old, so I wanted to re-create that moment. Minutes before this my husband and I were bickering, "Really, Angela? Do we NEED the same picture?! Owen's melting down. I think I'm going to have a melt down." Baby screaming, hating being undressed, toddler wanting to destroy or jump on something. Me laughing, but really gritting my teeth and smirking my swollen post-baby face, thinking, "Oh, please, just get one good picture, please!" Love these moments. Looking back, it's all relative, but it's fun to remember.

2. Pull-ups. I have no idea how potty training would go without things like pull-ups. Seriously. I commute a half-hour away to work, so we're in the car at least an hour a day. Pull-up time for car rides is a must! I could leisurely get myself to work, not frantically asking my potty training son, "Do you have to go? Do you, do you?!" Love pull-ups. And no, I don't believe they confuse kids into not peeing on the potty, they work. They're awesome.

3. Snotty-nosed kids. I know, this part of parenting sucks. I'm not denying colds and boogers are awful. However, I am grateful that's all I have to deal with - knock on wood. I'm grateful for knowing how to deal with snotty noses.

4. Vicks vapor rub. Seriously the cure-all of any cold. I love this stuff.

I think on a bad day I will sniff this stuff for a moment of peace. 

5. Growth. I adore watching my kids learn new things. My son at one point could not crawl normally, he did the army crawl without being on his hands and knees. It was cute but slightly worrisome (at the time we didn't know many babies crawl this way!). Then he was riding a tricycle and a bike with training wheels. What?! When did that happen? Now, he drives his power wheels around the yard with his little sister in it. My daughter says real words, like any word you say she'll repeat. It's amazing.

Growth... it's astonishing every time. No matter how many times I hear my children say a word or start to say a sentence, the awesomeness of that never gets old to me. 

6. Pinterest. Well, duh! Of course this would be on my grateful list. I don't know what type of mom I'd be without Pinterest. Well, OK, Pinterest does not rule my life, in fact I personally have not even been on Pinterest in like six months (I know, I know, slacker! I need to devote some time to it this weekend!)... but my sister finds recipes there that she sends my way and makes my cooking life much easier, my family well-fed. And I have gotten the BEST party ideas from Pinterest. It's such an awesome gift to busy moms.

7. Parenting books, blogs, and sites. I am a lover of knowledge and education. I loved college, would go back in a heartbeat if I had the time. So therefore when becoming a mom I took out every book I could find about pregnancy, parenting, toddler years, etc. to be well-informed. I'm not one of those people who lives by what books tell me though, I take it all with a grain of salt. Yet I love reading still. I think we have so many resources available to us, it's silly not to take advantage of at least reading a blog post here and there. It's good to be updated on various things like car seat laws changing and what most moms think about certain toys. Great info!

8. Melissa & Doug toys. I LOVE literally everything these guys make. I love the old wooden look, like it's a toy maybe I played with as a kid. These make great gifts, too, because I find many of their things are different, unique, good for all ages.


I can't believe it took me to #9 to write this... but there is nothing I'm more grateful for than nap time. Honest. I wait for and feel rejuvenated by nap time. Those two hours are scared to me. I will do anything to keep nap time routine and working. 

As my son gets closer to being 4 years old, when I've heard naps cease for most kids (if naps have not ceased before during ages 2 and 3, which luckily here they have not)... I'm afraid. I don't know what I'll do without those two hours a day where I can regroup. Maybe I'll find a nap nanny... someone to watch my kids for those two hours while I take a nap myself! Awesome!

10. My children's names. I am pretty sure most parents love their kids' names, otherwise they would not have named them those names, but I really, really love my kids' names. The funny thing about Owen is that I have no recollection of where we got it. I can't recall if it was from a show (we were watching Grey's Anatomy at the time) or a baby book (I did force my husband to peruse one a few times during the last two weeks of pregnancy when we still didn't have finalized names). Regardless, I love it. It's simple and totally who he is. I also like that he's able to almost write it after only a few months of learning the letters at pre-school. My poor daughter when pre-school comes around... her name is longer...but still, lOVE IT. Yes, everyone - even family members - spell her name wrong (which I get, but really we only changed ONE letter from the normal spelling), but we still love it. We knew changing up the spelling would cause it to be misspelled forever, and yet that doesn't bug us much. It's good to love your kids' names... we say them an awful lot all day, don't we?! :)

11. Being organized. I always keep a grocery list handy and write down all gifts I buy for Christmas and birthdays, so I'm not wondering if I need one more thing for someone. I clean up every night. I keep extra just in case bags of diapers and other things with me wherever I go. I clean out the car when we leave it. I find being organized and prepared keeps me a saner mom.

12. My brain. 

Yes, I do have a case of Mom Brain, after two pregnancies, newborn sleepless nights, crazy toddler years, working full time, etc. but I still love my brain. 

I love that when I drop my son off at pre-school at 7 in the morning and they tell me two days from then he's to wear pajamas to school and bring his teddy bear for Bear Day, I remember that later in the night and write it on the calendar, and then make sure his pajamas are washed and ready for two days from then. I love that when my sitter tells me on a Friday we need more diapers next week, I get them and they're packed and ready for Monday morning. Like when at the doctor visit and they tell me the weight and height and percentiles, I remember those long enough to text them to my husband and write in the baby book when I get home. It's little things like this that we remember, and I know men would NEVER remember these things. I love being the one who remembers.

13. Being real. I love that I'm the type of mom who is honest, spilling my guts, sharing it all, taking pictures of me and putting them on the blog for all to see even though I know I look awful, so tired, and just not flattering. I'm happy to share my ups and downs, struggles and successes. I admire others who are real like this, so I'm proud to be one of those people myself. There's no point in hiding our struggles. It's all good. You might even help someone feel better about her shortcomings if you put yours out there. Hmmm....

14. Mom in the picture. I try, try, try to take more pictures with me and the kids. I'm even trying to take more of me and my husband. I feel like we have a zillion pictures of us as high school, college and engaged kids... but none since we had our babies, it's always dad with baby, mom with baby, mom and dad and baby, but none of the couple who made those babies! I'm not great at this mom in the picture thing, despite how many pictures I take, but I'm getting there.

15. PHOTOS! Um, you already know this. I take 1,000 photos a day practically. Well, maybe in a week I take that many. Documenting our wonderful moments is important to me. Love photos.

16. Big toys like train table, kitchen set, and doll house. While we can't have too many more big toys around here since our house is being taken over by kids' things... I love these! These three things keep my two kiddos occupied for hours. I love that they love cooking in the kitchen and making "choo choo" noises. Hours of fun.

17. My body. Nope, it's not perfect, but I still am thankful for it. It gave me babies, let me feed those babies, helped me run 5k races, and keeps me strong enough to pick up my babies. It's good. All good.

18. Mom friends. 

People who get what you're going through, who don't get annoyed when you say, "oh sorry only had five minutes to talk, now major meltdown, bye" without waiting for a return word from them. Moms who look at your child's antics and go, "yup, been there, don't worry, it'll get better." 

19. Being a kid again. Having fun. Splashing in mud puddles. Getting dirty. Going to children's museums. I am grateful that in this crazy world I get to have FUN daily.

20. My husband. Not having to do this parenting thing alone is amazing. He makes it easier and fun. He's pretty much the best.

21. Video monitor. It gives me peace of mind. What greater thing is there as a mother?

22. Babysitters. It's so nice having six grandparents and a zillion aunts and uncles and friends who will watch our kids any time we want a date night out.

23. Girl clothes. I spend hours looking at, folding, putting away, and finding girl clothes that my daughter can rock her style in. I'm sorry to say boy clothes are just not as fun. I LOVE girl clothes. I kind of want this outfit my daughter has on in the picture above.

24. Food. While some days we have little in the house and other days I can't come up with a new idea for a meal besides pasta or grilled cheese sandwiches, I'm still grateful I can ALWAYS make something and am not without food.

25. Annie's mac n' cheese. Yup. I love it. Especially on rainy days like today or on weeknights when I cannot possibly make anything else for dinner out of exhaustion from my day.

26. Baby mirror in the car. I never used one of these with my son, but having a second back there with a toddler brother meant I needed to have eyes in the back of my head to make sure all were alive. Love those baby mirrors!

27. Libraries. It's so nice to gather books for free for my kids and myself. I took out 6 books the other day for the kids, and we only liked two of them. It was nice though to read something different and realize which ones we'd want to buy and which ones we weren't into.

28. Seasons. I know that it's not fun when the summer weather goes away and we're left with cold, dreary winter days approaching where you can't get outside. But really, I do love the seasons as a mom. I'm grateful we get to experience various things outdoors with kids... running through leaves, making snowmen, jumping in puddles and watching flowers grow, and of course visiting the beach. It makes it interesting.

29. Details. 

I am thankful that having children makes me realize the details, the little things that are important. 

Things like how my daughter's hair looks so red outside, just like her dad's hair. How teeny tiny those fingers are holding a pumpkin. I love noticing a new scratch or something on my children, realizing that I'm probably the only person in the world who notices little things like that on my babies.

30. Hearing "mama." Sappy, I know, but honestly, it's the best thing in the world, next to hearing, "I love you, mom." Those few words can make me stop and realize the laundry can wait, the whining won't last forever, the neediness is understandable, and that they are only little once. I am their mom and that's the most important thing to be grateful for.

Wishing you a happy, family-filled Thanksgiving! Eat lots of yummy treats, snuggle those babies tight, and relax. You deserve it, moms. 


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